The Italian told a story of how playing with Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson in 2014 made him realise he needed to hit the ball further to compete

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Francesco Molinari – ‘I Needed Distance To Stand A Chance’

Francesco Molinari comes into this week’s Masters in the form of his life, after a career-best 2018 that saw him win his first Major and win all five of his matches at the Ryder Cup.

The Italian has cemented himself as one of the world’s greatest players right now, and part of that is down to improvements across the board along with a substantial increase in distance.

His mental game has improved with help from Dave Alred, his putting has improved with the help of Phil Kenyon and his swing has improved with the help of Denis Pugh.

With some specific swing training and some specific body training, Molinari has been able to unlock added distance in the past 18 months, which has helped him become one of golf’s best players.

Molinari’s power position at the top – featuring a full shoulder turn and great extension. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

He averaged over 300 yards on the PGA Tour in 2018 for the first time in his career, up almost 25 yards on his 2012 total.

So why did Francesco work hard to increase his distance? Quite simply because he had to.

“I didn’t stand a chance,” he said at Augusta National ahead of the Masters.

He told an interesting story of when he realised he needed some more yards…

“I remember when we played The Open at Royal Liverpool [2014] on the Saturday, I played in the last round with Rory and Dustin, I think it was the third round, yeah, and I just didn’t have a chance,” he said.

“I could play as well as I wanted but I didn’t stand a chance.  That was I think a big turning point for me.  It’s all about perspective and how you take things. 

“I took it like, if I want to keep doing this job and do it at a high level, I need to work as hard as I can and see if I can get closer to those guys.

“So what that did for me is now when I go out, play with Brooks or Dustin or Rory or whoever you can name, and I’m not really intimidated, because I feel like I can compete with them, even if I’m not hitting the ball 370 yards.

I’m hitting it long enough to be competitive and to use my strengths to get good performances in.”

Related: US Masters golf betting tips 2019

Molinari goes into this week’s tournament as the World Number 7 in search of Major No.2.

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